Santos boasts the largest dock area in Latin America and is considered the world's foremost coffee port. A city of mostly modern buildings, wide tree-lined avenues and wealthy suburbs, Santos retains a charm that has not been extinguished by the development of an enormous port complex. Although best known for its commerce, it also offers resort facilities for city-weary Paulistas, including beautiful beaches, plenty of shops and a relaxed, friendly atmosphere.
For cruise vessels Santos serves as the starting point for a trip to São Paulo. Founded by two Jesuit priests in 1554, São Paulo started out as a shabby little town of clay and mud-packed buildings. At the end of the 19th century, enterprising "coffee barons" began to place large amounts of their profits into local industry, helping to catapult the city into a major financial center.
Immigrants arrived from all corners of the world. Today, São Paulo is the most populous city in South America and the continent's leading industrial center. Much of this incredible development can be attributed to the fact that the Paulistas are among the hardest working and most energetic people in Brazil. Another important factor is the availability of ample hydroelectric power, which greatly contributed to the city's industrial growth.
Work and profit aside, the city has its attractions. But being so spread out puts a limit to what one can accomplish in a single day. Guests participating in the city tour must be aware that at best it will provide them with an overview of this immense metropolis.
The ship is scheduled to dock at the Port of Santos. A port shuttle has to be used from the gangway to the main terminal where tour and shuttles are stationed. Downtown Santos is a 20-minute drive. Taxis are generally parked outside the main gate. It may be difficult to find English-speaking drivers. Be sure to agree on the fare before departing the port. The distance to São Paulo is 45 miles (72.5 kilometres).
As a popular resort town, Santos boasts plenty of shops. Items such as casual wear, leather articles, semi-precious and precious stones, ceramics and coffee are popular buys. The most convenient shopping can be found in the Praiamar Shopping Center. The local currency is the real.
The restaurant at the Hotel Parque Balneario may be your best bet. Otherwise, various local restaurants offer a choice of seafood, barbecue-style meats and fast food. Brazilian beer is excellent and a good thirst quencher on a hot day. When eating ashore, stay away from leafy salads and make sure your food is hot and well-done. Drink only bottled water and beverages.
This museum is located in a private house on a quiet street of the old town. Museo de Mar features an unusual collection of relics connected to life in and around the ocean. There is also a good quality gift shop.
A long stretch of beach runs the length of the Avenida Presidente Wilson in downtown Santos. It is usually crowded with vacationers from São Paulo.
For those guests who are interested in touring at your leisure, we are pleased to offer Silver Shore Privato - both half-day and full-day private arrangements by private car or van. You may book this in advance at Silversea.com or it may be purchased on board, subject to availability.
Other private arrangements for independent sightseeing may be arranged by emailing Shoreconcierge@silversea.com